This simplified version of Daniel Humm’s whimsical appetizer at NYC’s Eleven Madison Park has store-bought smoked sturgeon, hackleback caviar and rye crackers.
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1/2 everything bagel—bread scooped out and discarded, crust finely diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
4 quail eggs
One 1-ounce jar hackleback or other black caviar
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound smoked sturgeon, thickly sliced
1/4 cup sliced pickled cocktail onions
Rye crisps and dill pickles, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a pie plate, toss the bagel dice with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast for about 10 minutes, until golden; let cool.
In a small saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the quail eggs for 2 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel the eggs and halve them lengthwise.
Using a ceramic or plastic spoon, scrape the caviar into a small bowl; wipe the jar clean. Spread the cream cheese into the empty caviar jar. Spread the caviar over the cream cheese in an even layer to cover it completely.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce and dressing and season with salt. Arrange the smoked sturgeon on 4 plates. Mound the salad alongside the fish. Arrange the sliced onions and quail eggs on the salad and sprinkle the bagel crumbs on top. Serve with the caviar cream cheese, rye crisps and pickles.
This dish is hard to pair with wine because it has some pretty dominating flavors (smoky fish, oniony bread crumbs) alongside more subtle components, like caviar. Sparkling wine is the go-to in such instances. Pour Champagne, like the NV Gosset Excellence Brut, or a more affordable Prosecco, like the NV Zardetto Brut.
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